Judy Mollen had an article published this week whose title tugged at the edges of my mind, so I read it. Again, common sense stuff that is not so common in our society. The article centered on giving our kids the wrong message about being an adult. Upon reflecting about the common themes in our society, I’m not sure that I would be very excited about coming of age right now. Commercials about how a grade school kid imagines driving when his dad jokingly offers him the keys to the car, rushing around trying to make ends meet while dealing with a sadistic boss or graduating from either the high school or college and not being able to find employment. Why bother if all you get is one disappointment after another?
Judy brings out a point that neither she nor I thought much about when growing up. What marks your transition from child to adulthood? Like her, I thought it just happened. Then, she called my attention to those people that we all know. Peers who never left home or are still relying on parents for significant contributions to maintain their lifestyle. Remember the TV show “Failure to Launch”?
What if we stop feeding our kids all the gloom and doom that will descend upon them as they approach 20 years of age? What if we stop teaching them that there are no winners or losers in any contest or competition and teach them how to be gracious in both victory and defeat? What if we tell them how great it feels to get paid for doing something we enjoy and the sense of accomplishment we feel when after working hard, we achieve a desired goal? Those are things we adults celebrate but leave out of the picture we paint for our kids.
What does the adult landscape look like for your kids? They see most of the adult world through your eyes. Are there fertile valleys and sweeping, tree-lined slopes in their landscape or is it as desolate as the Sahara Desert? Change the message and change their outlook on life. Arm them with hope, faith and perseverance and there will be few battles in life that they won’t win.